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Hormonal Havoc? Here’s A Natural Fix to Get Your Levels Right

posted on 8/10/2016 Facebook Facebook

When one speaks anything related to hormones your mind must naturally divert towards all those women in your lives. Yes! Hormones do rule a woman’s life—right from puberty, pregnancy to childbirth and finally menopause. However, they are as crucial and necessary in a man’s life as in a woman’s. These chemical messengers affect various aspects of your health as they travel through our bloodstream regulating various functions and events.

Inadequate hormones can result in multiple health problems and malfunctions. The easiest one to name is an insufficient production of insulin which can result in diabetes, or deficient levels of thyroid hormones causing hypothyroidism. Newer scientific  research has also pointed out that hormonal imbalance could play a bigger part in development and spread of certain types of cancers such as breast, ovarian, prostate, and thyroid. While this research is still in its preliminary stages, growing research is sure to find answers to many unanswered questions.

Hormonal disruption is a product of our own lifestyle habits and can hence be regulated by fixing the things we are doing wrong. Besides diet, certain other lifestyle modifications can also help to balance your hormone levels. Here are a few hacks:

1.Get Enough Sleep
The simplest hack to get your hormones on track is getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep or sleeping at the wrong time is probably the worst offender that disrupts your hormonal balance. So unless you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors.

2.Exercise Wisely
If you’re not the gym types, then don’t worry. As much as we are surrounded by the misconception that a hard workout is essential for regulating moods, the reality is quite different. A simple light cardio with a few lifting exercises can turn on the hormone faucet in your body and release all that you need. Again a regular exercise routine will not only help your hormones but also work to reduce your stress levels, enhance your immune system and regulate metabolic function.

3.Stay Clear Of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals
Endocrine or hormone disruptors find their way in our everyday lives through our kitchen and other household products. Chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, parabens etc. mimic the natural hormones in the body thereby disrupting their function. If possible, avoid cooking in plastic containers and use glass wherever convenient. Trade your Teflon coated pans and woks for those made with cast iron or stainless steel. Also, only buy organic produce to limit your exposure to pesticides.

4.Consider Supplements
You can maintain your hormonal balance by supplementing your body with certain essential nutrients and vitamins which aid in hormone production.

  •  Vitamin D, acts like a hormone in the body, and its deficiency has been linked to asthma, allergies, excessive weight gain and even cancer. The best way is to soak up some sun to get your vitamin D levels right.

  •  Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential chain fatty acids serve as the building blocks for hormone production. 

  •  Gelatin: An indispensable ingredient of your gummy treats and puddings, gelatin contains a unique profile of healthful amino acids which work to balance hormones. Also packed with calcium, magnesium and phosphate, gelatin promotes healthy digestion.

5.Hormone Friendly Diet
The first and foremost offender for disrupted levels of hormones is our nutrient deficient diets. The modern diet which is flooded with processed, chemically treated food items is highly deficient in essential nutrients that play a vital role in producing the hormones in our body. Are your meals ruled by unhealthy junk foods? Here are four food categories which can make up for an easy, hormone balancing meal.

  • Protein Foods
Aren’t hormones proteins? Well not all but many of them are. Supplementing your diet with enough clean protein like sprouted beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, organic eggs and meat can all work wonders for healthy hormonal levels.
  • Healthy Fats
Avocados, coconut oil, clarified butter or ghee are all rich sources of healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K which form the building blocks for hormones. The fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content of these food items also keeps the skin healthy and beautiful.
  • Vegetables
Antioxidant rich veggies like leafy greens, orange and yellow vegetables as well as starchy ones all ensure efficient hormone production. Some of these vegetables are: broccoli, spinach, collard greens, kale, red and yellow bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, artichokes etc. 
  • Spices & Herbs
Healing herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic and cayenne all work wonders to maintain a healthy hormone production and balance. Include them in your soups or just make a tea to enjoy its benefits. 

References:
1.Coll AP, Farooqi IS, O''''Rahilly S. The hormonal control of food intake. Cell.2007 Apr 20;129(2):251-62. Review. PubMed PMID: 17448988; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2202913.
2.Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Role of sleep and sleep loss in hormonal release and metabolism. Endocr Dev. 2010;17:11-21. doi: 10.1159/000262524. Epub 2009 Nov 24.Review. PubMed PMID: 19955752; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3065172.
3.Gawel MJ, Park DM, Alaghband-Zadeh J, Rose FC. Exercise and hormonal secretion. Postgrad Med J. 1979 Jun;55(644):373-6. PubMed PMID: 482180; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2425585.
4.Diamanti-Kandarakis E, Bourguignon JP, Giudice LC, Hauser R, Prins GS, Soto AM, Zoeller RT, Gore AC. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2009 Jun;30(4):293-342. doi:10.1210/er.2009-0002. Review. PubMed PMID: 19502515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2726844.

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